Road Raise – Making a game changing difference
At the time, we were 5 days and about 800 kilometres into the inaugural DBH Road Raise. That day was particularly hot and we had ridden almost 200 kilometres and were very close to arriving at our destination in Geelong.
All that stood between us and a warm dinner at the team hotel was the hills that surround Geelong.
I could sense that one particular rider was really hurting. His body was aching and his bike swayed from side to side inching up each hill metre by metre. Soon he had dropped off the back of the main group and I decided to fall back with him as it is always good to have someone to ride with, particularly when you are in this position.
Andrew Jarman, former AFL great at the Adelaide Crows, is the rider I am referring to. What he did that day (and indeed that entire week) was one of the more remarkable pieces of mental toughness I have witnessed. It was a privilege to watch.
On a limited preparation, Andrew assured us all that he was ready to ride from Adelaide to Melbourne in support of young people living with cancer in their lives. He had listened to the inspiring personal stories of the young members of CanTeen and felt he had something to give. In short, he wanted to make a difference.
The night prior, Andrew was on stage at a sportsman’s night in Warrnambool and watched on as Cass Davis, an incredible 19 year old member of CanTeen, told 350 guests her personal story of losing her father to cancer in her early teenage years. Cass, fighting back tears, was courageous that night and her words left an indelible mark and impact on everyone in the room.
The message was clear and it was this:
CanTeen is an amazing organisation that supported her through the toughest time of her life and enabled a broken teenage heart to start to heal.
I am sure that it was people like Cass that drove Andrew Jarman to pedal every one of the 1000 kilometres to Melbourne in the ride last year. On those tough days, when he needed inspiration, he channelled their spirit and he kept on going.
Soon enough, he and 12 other riders were in Melbourne and had collectively raised a fraction more than $140,000.
I was honoured to be a part of the first DBH Road Raise event and I am happy to say that I am going back for more this October. I was also particularly pleased that my employer, Beyond Bank Australia, provided support to the event last year. Beyond Bank Deputy Chair, Steve Nolis, even decided to take part.
For more information on the 2016 edition of DBH Road Raise please click here.
If you would like to donate to my own personal fundraising efforts for the 2016 event please click here.
Your support enables CanTeen to be the game changer in the lives of young people going through so much.